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$53 Million Nursing Home Lawsuit Overturned on Appeal

A $53 million judgment against a nursing home management giant HCR ManorCare has been overturned by a court of appeals, citing technical issues surrounding the ownership structure set up between the nursing home where the nursing home neglect occurred and parent companies. The plaintiffs intend to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court and consumer advocates argue that the complex corporate structure was set up specifically to avoid responsibility for the types of damages awarded in cases of gross nursing home negligence. The nursing home lawsuit was brought by the family of a woman who died from a gastrointestinal bleed. The lower court jury found that employees at the facility were responsible for allowing her to bleed to death over several days. The nursing home staff then attempted to cover it up by changing the bedding, cleaning her and returning her to the bed before reporting the wrongful death. As a result the family was awarded $3.2 million in compensation and $50 million damages for the nursing home negligence. The appellate court ordered a new trial indicating that the lower court was wrong in determining that ManorCare was the employer of the nursing staff. ManorCare contends that the actual owner and operator of the nursing home is a competitor. There are more than 500 Manor Care nursing homes in 32 states, including here in Illinois. To read more about the nursing home verdict, please click the link.